It's raining ... moths!
Published: 11 August 2022
Monday was ‘magical moth’ day at Boddam, a partnership event between Shetland Amenity Trust and The Shetland Community Wildlife Group.
The wet, windy weather did little to put people off and over a dozen folk descended on Boddam to check out moth traps set the night before. By mid-August catches can number in the high hundreds but our catch of 215 moths was about right. Enough to allow people to have a good look at some of Shetland’s more common creatures of the night but not too many to overwhelm them.
A quick discussion on how traps worked was followed by some tips on how to identify moths and a count of the number of each species trapped. The different strategies employed to avoid predators – flying at night for starters, as well as subtle colouring for camouflage or bright colours to scare off predators were all well illustrated and it wasn’t long before the bairns in particular were fully engaged with these harmless creatures.
The event tied in well with a recently published paper detailing the status of all of Shetland’s 395 moth species!
Caption: A list of the moths and butterflies of Shetland prepared by Mike Pennington and Paul Harvey has been published recently, based on all the records held in the Shetland Biological Records Centre database at the end of 2021. A total of 395 species have now been recorded in the islands. It is hoped that this list will be made available online soon, along with photographs illustrating the species concerned. Many folk have contributed to this list – from those running moth traps on a regular basis over the last few years, to others who have just sent in a handful of records seen around their houses or on walks in the countryside.